Meet our guest curator, Cheyanne Sauter, the Executive Director of Art Share LA

A proud Los Angeles native, Cheyanne Sauter has been a nonprofit professional for over 20 years. Her expertise lies in program development, fundraising, and building relationships, and she has worked with diverse populations. Her previous positions include Associate Director of Development at Foundation Fighting Blindness and Assistant Director of Fundraising at LA Conservation Corps. Her true calling lies in working with and supporting artists, and in early 2000, she answered this call by co-founding Gallery Row alongside three founders. Gallery Row’s mission is to bring economic and cultural revitalization to a blighted Downtown Los Angeles by cultivating the presence of artists, galleries, and culture. During her time there, Gallery Row grew to birth the Downtown Art Walk, an immensely popular and beloved Angeleno organization that brings hundreds of thousands of art lovers and community members to Downtown Los Angeles’ cultural offerings.

In July 2013, Cheyanne joined Art Share Los Angeles as an unpaid Interim Director to revitalize this nonprofit whose existence looked bleak after the recession. Within the next two years, she developed a viable programmatic model that supported 200 visual and performing artists annually, and rebuilt Art Share L.A.’s reputation as an invaluable cultural resource for emerging Angeleno artists. Today, Art Share L.A. has a staff of six and offers diverse programming that engages hundreds of emerging artists to create, exhibit, and share their work with thousands of art lovers annually.

Cheyanne has served as a member of the executive team for the Cultural Stakeholders Committee, whose goal is to provide visibility for the arts and preserve and promote Los Angeles’ cultural and heritage. She currently sits on the boards of the Los Angeles River and Business Association (LARABA) and the Arts District Business Improvement District (ADLA).

MISSION of ArtShare LA

FOUNDED: 1997

Our mission is to support artists by providing a creative environment for them to reside, develop, perform, and exhibit. Art Share L.A. inspires artists and provides connection to the community for shared benefits. We maintain a 28,000 square ft. warehouse in the heart of the Arts District. Upstairs, we provide 30 subsidized live/work lofts for artists. Downstairs, we have a community-programmed facility offering classes, exhibitions, and events.

CURRENT PROGRAMMING:

Since early 2013, Art Share L.A. has been committed to being a thriving community arts space in the Arts District. Our unique blend of affordable housing, studios, and performance space for qualifying artists makes us an unique and much-needed force in the development of artists not fortunate enough to have the backing of a major gallery or wealthy patron. Art Share L.A. empowers those excluded from the exclusive fine arts circles to explore creativity, hone their crafts, and develop professionally.

We are open to the public Wednesday – Sunday from 1 PM – 6 PM and most evenings for performances starting at 7 PM.  Stop by to see our latest gallery show or to visit one of our many studio artists.

If you are an artist, we encourage you to submit your works during one of our two submissions each year – October & April. If you are an art appreciator, check out our events program and stop in for one of our many concerts, spoken work or script reading events. All are open to the public and most are affordable or free!

See you at Art Share!

BUILDING HISTORY

In 1912, the lot was a single family residential home. The property was purchased in 1928 and a two-story, 28,800 square foot textile-recycling factory was constructed. During the mid-1980s, the neighborhood became a beacon to struggling artists being priced out of the increasingly expensive Venice and Hollywood arts scenes. These artists sought out large and affordable spaces for creative purposes, and saw great potential in the forgotten industrial buildings of the Arts District. This trend continued throughout the 1990s, and the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles became a lasting landmark.

In 1997, the building was resold and Art Share L.A. was born. The top floor was renovated to include 30 affordable micro live/work lofts, and part of the roof was removed to allow natural light to fall upon a patio area complete with a koi pond. The bottom floor was redesigned to include a theater, gallery, art studios, multi-purpose classrooms, and office space. Despite the building’s drastic remodelling, remnants of the industrial era still remain – brick walls, freight doors, and old train tracks in our alley hint at the building’s history.

PROGRAMMING HISTORY:

Art Share L.A. was founded as a community arts center and affordable housing complex during a time when inner-city arts programming was non-existent and artists were being displaced by the skyrocketing property value and rent increases. The average rental rate for a loft in 1990 was $0.25 cents/square foot – today, the average rental rate is pushing $1.35/square foot.

At the turn of the century, Art Share flourished as an after-school arts center for youth ages 12-18, and experienced tremendous success shaping student lives through exposure to the arts. Following the 2008 recession, the non-profit landscape and demographics of the neighborhood had both changed drastically, and Art Share found itself in dire need of programmatic reassessment and building repair.

The summer of 2012 was a revolutionary period for Art Share, in which we re-opened our doors and re-launched our programs. The organization underwent a strategic rebranding and assessment, with help from our neighbors at brand consulting firm Innovation Protocol, and new board members and new managing staff joined the team. The building’s exterior received a killer paint job with help from international street artist, INSA, transforming the space into a vibrant downtown landmark. In addition, that summer Art Share hosted the largest community exhibition the gallery had ever seen. Entitled “25 Cents a Square Foot”, the show featured over 100 pieces that told the story of the Arts District.

Find out more about ArtShare LA: www.artsharela.org